Global Investing

Ukraine and the IMF: a sense of deja vu

April 1, 2014

The West has just agreed to stump up a load of cash for Ukraine but there is a distinct sense of deja vu around it all.

Who shivers if Russia cuts off the gas?

March 17, 2014

Markets are fretting about the prospect of western sanctions on Russia but Europeans will also suffer heavily from any retaliatory trade embargoes from Moscow which supplies roughly a third of the continent’s gas needs  – 130 billion cubic metres in 2012.

Ukraine aid may pay off for Kremlin

December 19, 2013

Ukraine said today it was issuing a $3 billion in two-year Eurobonds at a yield of 5 percent in what seems to the start of a bailout deal with Russia. That sounds like a good deal for Kiev — its Eurobond maturing next year is trading at at a yield of 8 percent and it could not reasonably expect to tap bond markets for less than that. In addition,  Ukraine is also  getting a gas price discount from Russia that will provide an annual saving of $2.6 billion or so.

Ukraine’s $58 billion problem

April 24, 2012

Ukrainian officials were at pains to reassure investors last week that no debt default was in the offing. But people familiar with the numbers will find it hard to believe them.

There’s oil in them thar wealth funds

January 14, 2010

Some interesting new data on sovereign wealth funds from State Street Global Advisors, a huge fund firm that does a lot of business with them. Most interesting, perhaps, is that the vast majority of sovereign wealth fund money comes from oil and gas revenues rather than from countries building up large foreign reserves from other trade, eg China.

Is it time for a Scottish wealth fund?

July 29, 2009

Oxford SWF Project, a university think tank on sovereign wealth funds, is looking at reports that the latest entry in the field could be Scotland. The project has a new post about the Scottish government floating the idea of an oil stabilisation fund to use oil and gas revenues.  It cites Scottish cabinet secretary for finance John Swinney looking abroad gleefully:

More than a nice-to-have, buy-side considers its actions

May 20, 2009

More than a “nice to have,” investor sentiment is running heavily on the side of environment, social and governance (ESG) factors, according to the latest Thomson Reuters Perception Snapshot.

Will Spain face Russian ire for snubbing LUKOIL’s Repsol bid?

November 26, 2008

If Lithuania’s experience is anything to go by, Spain may regret its declaration that it would rather Russian oil company LUKOIL did not buy a major stake in its largest refiner, Repsol.

What next for OMV, and for MOL?

August 6, 2008

omv-ceo.jpgFollowing an acrimonious and drawn-out takeover battle for Hungary’s MOL, Austrian oil and gas group OMV finally did as expected: it threw in the towel.